As the National Hockey League enters the 2010-11 season, there are many enhancements that have been introduced to help reinforce the game’s prominence in the entertainment marketplace. Here’s an overview:

Groundbreaking Owner-Player Partnership-The League’s Owners and Players, moving forward with a new spirit of cooperation and partnership established by a revolutionary Collective Bargaining Agreement, established several
joint committees to help chart the course for hockey’s future. Among them: a Competition Committee to discuss and make recommendations on matters affecting the game and a Broadcasting & Marketing Committee to focus on broader business-related policies and initiatives.

Rule Changes To Enhance The Entertainment Experience-Various rule changes will help accentuate offense and maximize a player’s offensive skills (NOTE: diagrams on the following pages illustrate some of these changes). The
enhancements include:

- Expanded Offensive Zone
- Removal of the Center Red Line to Permit Longer Passes
- The "Tag-Up" Rule
- Reduced Goaltender Equipment Size
- Shootout to Decide Games

Shootouts Guarantee A Winner-The "breakaway" is hockey’s most exciting play and fans will see this more than ever as the NHL implements a shootout to decide tied games.
- Following a scoreless five-minute overtime, three players from each team participate in the order the coach selects.
- Each team takes three shots. The team with the most goals after those six shots is the winner.
- If the score remains tied, the shootout will proceed to a "sudden death" format.
- Regardless the number of goals scored during the shootout portion of overtime, the final score recorded for the game will give the winning team one more goal than the score at the end of regulation time.

Icing-If a team commits an icing infraction, any planned TV timeout for the ensuing stoppage will not occur. The team guilty of icing will not be allowed to make a line change and a faceoff will occur immediately within the guilty team's offensive zone.

Rivalry-Based Schedule-The NHL’s new rivalry-based schedule creates a greater number of compelling match-ups and strengthened division rivalries, while also maintaining the opportunity to market stars and teams through intraconference play.

Aggressive Broadcast Initiatives-The NHL will be bringing fans closer to the game. Viewing fans are going "inside the glass" through broadcast enhancements such as HDTV telecasts, in-game interviews with head coaches, behind-the-scenes access to players and dressing rooms, additional camera positions and players wearing microphones. Increased media access gives reporters covering the NHL the opportunity to enhance their coverage.

NHL Players To Participate In Turin And Vancouver Olympics-The League will suspend play during the 2005-06 and 2009-10 regular seasons to allow players to represent their respective countries at the Olympic Winter Games in Turin, Italy and Vancouver. The international scope of the NHL player base is a point of difference for the NHL over all other North American professional sports leagues and Olympic competition will showcase the world’s best hockey players to a global viewing audience. In addition, the 2006 and 2010 All-Star Games will not be played to allow for Olympic

Performance-Enhancing Substances Policy-Every NHL player will be subject to up to two "no-notice" tests every year, with at least one such test to be conducted on a team-wide basis. For the first positive test, a 20-game suspension without pay and mandatory referral to the League’s Substance Abuse/Behavioral Health Program for evaluation, education and possible treatment. A second positive test will result in a 60-game suspension without pay. A third positive test will result in a permanent suspension. A player receiving a third positive test and a permanent suspension from play in the League will, however, be eligible to apply for reinstatement after two years. The joint committee also will agree on a Prohibited Substances List. The list will include performance-enhancing substances on the list maintained by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) for both in-competition and out-of-competition testing.

Officiating points
- Zero tolerance on Interference, Hooking and Holding/Obstruction
- Goaltenders who play the puck behind the goal line but outside the designated puck handling area will be penalized for
  delay of game.
- Goaltenders will be penalized for delaying the game if they "freeze" the puck unnecessarily.
- Any player who shoots the puck directly over the glass in his defending zone will be penalized for delay of game.


NEW: To allow more continuous play and to increase pressure on the defending team, an attacking player who precedes the puck into the offensive zone will NOT be considered offside if he returns to the blue line and makes skate contact with it-thus ‘tagging up’-before resuming the attack or the forecheck.

OLD: An attacking player who preceded the puck into the offensive zone was considered offside and play was stopped, except in those instances when the defensive team clearly had gained possession.


Goaltender Trap Zone Area

NEW: To give the attacking team a better chance of gaining puck control behind the goal line, a goaltender may not play the puck while outside the defined area behind the net.

OLD: A defending goaltender could play the puck anywhere behind the goal line, which gave the defending team a better chance of gaining puck control first.

No Center Line

NEW: In order to create more offensive excitement and generate more scoring opportunities, teams will be able to "stretch" the ice with long passes that can travel legally from behind their defensive blue line all the way to the attacking blue line.

OLD: Offensive teams were prohibited from making passes that passed the red line and a blue line without being touched by a teammate.